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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been getting leary of eBay watch claims after getting slammed a few times, and pretty much have set a rule that a "just cleaned and oiled" watch claim has to be backed up with the paperwork. After receiving the junker I received today, that's now a 100% no exceptions rule.

Here's an eBay seller with great feedback selling a 16-size Elgin pocketwatch under the title of "running perfectly." The listing even gave the name and location of the watchmaker who had just cleaned, oiled and timed the watch, and used phrases such as "working great", "Member of NAWCC", "strong motion", and "before listing we work very hard on our watches to bring them back into their original condition." What could go wrong? Plenty it seems.

The watch arrived today, and after winding would not run without a good snap of the wrist. Listening to the movement, it was clear that the thing was out of beat. I unscrewed the back and saw that the balance wheel was flopping out of round, and every one of the balance screws had been screwed in flush with the rim. The arc had so many rough spots that even moving the wheel manually usually wouldn't get it swinging.

The regulator was set dead-center of its range, and just out of curiosity I timed the watch and found that it was gaining a full hour out of each 24... completely out of range of the regulator.

I contacted the seller and told him that the watch was coming back. I wondered how such a watch could have described in such glowing terms, and the seller volunteered this.... "This watch I have recently bought from my jeweler. He had serviced the watch. As he told me." Apparently the seller never had any firsthand knowledge of the watch's condition despite the wording of of auction, and was relying on something he was told.

Except for 2 shipping charges I'll almost break even; the seller of course is out nothing. I can take my licks as well as anyone, but for what it's worth here's a word to the wise... the misrepresentation of watch conditions on eBay seems to be reaching an epidemic stage. I'll take God at his word from here on out, but everyone else claiming a cleaned, oiled, timed and "perfectly" running watch better have the paperwork! :)

You folks have a good weekend.
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